Fire Stories

Fire stories from the national parks highlight events, incidents, and the like, associated with fire and fuels management, as well as fire education, technology, partnerships, and more. Stories highlight work related to Department of the Interior initiatives as well as local and regional initiatives.

Local Fire Departments Receive Funds from
National Park Service

Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Oklahoma

Date August 11, 2006

A total of $26,500 of federal funds will be distributed to local rural fire departments, says Chickasaw National Recreation Area Superintendent Connie Rudd.

"CNRA has long depended on support from the local fire departments. Our rural partners are often the only firefighting resources immediately available," said Dennis Weiland, Chief Ranger at the park the program manager for wild fire suppression. On behalf of these departments, Chickasaw NRA applied for Rural Fire Assistance grant funding to enhance the rural fire departments wildland fire suppression capability.

Fire departments receiving this funding are Dougherty, Oak Grove, Rock Prairie, and Sulphur. Funding amounts range from $6,000 to $7,500 per department and are targeted for wildland personal protective equipment and communications equipment.

Beginning with the National Fire Plan funding in FY2001, and continuing since, the National Park Service has been able to help local cooperators through the Rural Fire Assistance Program. The Rural Fire Assistance Program is primarily designed to increase firefighter safety and enhance the wildland fire protection capabilities of rural fire departments. Priority is given to departments who pursue accepted standards of wildland fire personal protective equipment, training, and communications. Emphasis is placed on departments that protect rural communities and play a substantial cooperative role in the protection of NPS lands and support interagency fire efforts.

Each rural fire department must meet a minimum of six eligibility criteria to qualify for the funding including a formalized cooperative relationship between the NPS and the rural fire department, the NPS unit is a Department of Interior wildland fire entity that cooperates with the rural fire department; the rural fire department serves a community with a population of 10,000 or less with wildland/urban interface; funds are limited to wildland fire training, wildland fire related equipment or supplies, and wildland fire prevention/education activities; and the rural fire department must meet a cost share minimum of 10%.